Jose Reyes will make his return to the lineup when the Blue Jays visit the Indians on Saturday afternoon.
Reyes hasn't played since he suffered a strained hamstring during his first at-bat of the season on March 31. He spent the past week working out in Florida and was officially activated from the 15-day disabled list following Friday night's game.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said the plan is for Reyes to start at shortstop on Saturday and Sunday before getting another short rest on Monday with the upcoming team off-day.
"It's big, he's a big part of our team," Gibbons said of Reyes' return. "The other guys have held their own and done a nice job for us. But he's a key part of our offense."
Melky Cabrera has excelled out of the leadoff spot for the Blue Jays during Reyes' absence, but he's now expected to slide down to No. 2 in the order. That should give the Blue Jays a major lift offensively as they continue to search for ways to get men on base for Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.
Reyes missed 66 games last season because of a severely sprained left ankle, and while his latest injury came with the danger of lingering around, he ended up only missing 17 games.
On the other side of the diamond, the focus is on another hitter as the Indians hope that Nick Swisher might finally be breaking out of a prolonged slump. Swisher entered Friday night's game in an 0-for-12 skid but went on to record a pair of singles and a walk in a 3-2 loss.
"For whatever reason, some players get off to a cold start," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It always happens and you don't have a remedy, or a pill to take. You have to ride it out and work hard. The good part is, you look at the back of their baseball card.
"I'm telling you, they're going to get to their level, the guys that are struggling. As hard as it is now, when they get hot, they're going to get real hot."
The pitching matchup will feature veteran left-hander Mark Buehrle taking the mound for Toronto against right-hander Corey Kluber. Buehrle's fast start to the season continued in his last outing against the Orioles. He allowed just one run over seven strong innings and has now allowed only two earned runs in three outings this season.
Kluber was solid in his last start in Chicago, holding the White Sox to two runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and no walks in 7 1/3 innings. Over his past two outings, Kluber had 14 strikeouts and no walks in 13 1/3 innings.
Indians: Chisenhall heating up
Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall churned out a career-high four hits in Thursday's 7-5 loss to the Tigers. After Friday's loss, Chisenhall is batting .481 (13-for-27) on the young season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Chisenhall was one of just four Indians hitters since 1935 to post at least a .500 average through their first seven games (minimum 20 at-bats). That short list also includes Sandy Alomar Jr. (.581 in 1997), Bill Glynn (.522 in 1954) and Lou Boudreau (.517 in 1948).
"I do think Lonnie has gone about his business in a really professional way," Francona said. "And I think he's got a little bit more calm in the batter's box. There's not as much panic maybe when things aren't going right. And I do think, because of that, you're going to see more success."
Blue Jays: Lind hits the DL
Designated hitter Adam Lind was placed on the 15-day DL after Friday night's win over the Indians because of a sore lower back. Lind suffered the injury on Tuesday night in Minnesota and the original hope was that it would improve quickly enough to avoid the DL. That didn't end up happening as the Blue Jays decided they couldn't wait any longer and instead opted to purchase the contract of Juan Francisco from Triple-A Buffalo
"He's making progress, but we need that bat in the lineup to fill that spot," Gibbons said. "Our bench is short enough as it is, plus with him being out, it's really short, and Major League club, you have to have all of your options."